Millwall boss discusses free-agent market

MILLWALL won't be dipping into the free-agent market this season – with recruitment focus having already switched to the summer.

Lions boss Neil Harris didn’t get the striker he wanted in January and will instead wait until the opening of the next transfer window to strengthen his squad again.

Millwall are currently light up front, and experienced players like Joe Mason, released by Wolves last month, and Gabriel Agbonlahor are among a number of English forwards without clubs.

Harris has picked up out-of-contract players previously, but only those, such as Ryan Tunnicliffe, who were monitored over a number of windows rather brought in after a snap decision.

Millwall will need a replacement striker if they lose Lee Gregory on a free transfer next summer. There are also doubts over the long-term Lions futures of Jiri Skalak and Fred Onyedinma, while full-backs Conor McLaughlin and James Meredith could move on after losing their places in the side this season.

The club were keen on Middlesbrough’s Rudy Gestede and Matt Smith of QPR in January but were frustrated in their attempts to add attacking reinforcements.

Harris was at Loftus Road on Tuesday night to watch QPR take on Portsmouth in their FA Cup fourth-round replay and the recruitment staff will build up profiles of targets between now and May.

Millwall will hope to persuade Ben Marshall to join permanently in the summer, but much of their transfer business will depend on if they have retained their place in the Championship.

Harris has ruled out picking up free transfers in the meantime.

“It’s fully focussed on the summer now,” Harris said. “Free agents are very few and far between. I have my thoughts on what we need for the summer and the recruitment department are working towards that.

“You need to see players and know players. If the recruitment department switches off now then you’re missing valuable match time.

“Scouts will be out watching games, staff will be out watching games. It’s important that we’re building towards the summer because we’ve got players out of contract, we’ve got players here on loan and we’ve got players who might move on to pastures new for whatever reason.

“We’re certainly going to need to add to the squad in the summer.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly